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This morning I awakened before 3:00 a.m.  We were exhausted last night since we both came home from the beach and worked our ample buns off.  (If only.)  We went to bed early, and I should have known that early to bed, early to rise, takes on new meaning these days.  Six hours is about my limit, and so I lay awake for about an hour before I decided I might as well get up and get a start on the day.  Our floor plan is such that I can't really work in the kitchen without keeping Mike awake.  This wouldn't be a problem if we didn't have two furry people living with us who cannot tolerate closed doors.

So I started my early morning reading email, blogs, and checking Facebook.  I "liked" a couple of things from a high school friend that I recently reconnected with on Facebook, and then received a mysterious text that said "You're up early in Oregon.  Happy Fourth!"  The only identifier was the phone number.  Ordinarily, I ignore those kinds of things, but apparently I was feeling adventurous and so I typed back "Who are you?"  Not the friendliest response, I suppose, but succinct.  It was my friend in Connecticut.  What a nice way to start the day!  (Hi Greg!)

When it finally was a decent enough hour to start banging around in the kitchen (decent equals 6:00 a.m.), I started making 7-Layer Dip.  I made it for last year's Fourth of July get-together, and it was such a hit that it is traditional now.  Originally, I got the recipe from Tabasco, but I can't find it listed online.  Here's how I make it:

7-Layer Dip
adapted from the original recipe by Tabasco

2 cans  (9 oz. each) bean dip
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1 (16 oz) package prepared guacamole (about 2 cups)
1 carton (8 oz.) sour cream
1 envelope (1 oz.) taco seasoning
1 package (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 can  (3.8 oz.) sliced black olives -- drained
1 large tomato -- seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onions -- chopped
Corn chips

Combine bean dip and hot pepper sauce and mix well; spread over bottom of a shallow, 2-quart casserole dish.  Spread guacamole over bean dip.  Combine sour cream and taco seasoning, blending well; spread over guacamole.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over sour cream, then top with olives, tomato and onion.  Chill for one hour.  Serve with chips.

Then I baked some "Thick and Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies".  The recipe is supposed to make three dozen, but I only got 22.  I suppose between the five of us we can live on just 4-1/2 large cookies each.  As long as nobody eats any of mine, we should all get along just fine today.  Also out of my kitchen for today's feast, Texas Potato Salad and 7-Layer Salad.  (Seven is my lucky number today.)

I wasn't expecting to have a chance to blog today, but when your day starts at 3:00 a.m., it makes for more free time.  It's good to be back at the old computer though, and I have some pictures to show you from our trip.  We packed a lot into three days, and so I'll try to keep the narrative down to a dull roar, just adding explanation where necessary.  Here's the dull roar:

The weather was foggy and overcast almost the whole day Monday where our RV was parked in Rockaway.  We decided to wait until the next day for hiking to see if the weather improved.  That meant the first day was devoted to quilting.  We stopped off at the Chamber of Commerce and picked up brochures related to the Tillamook County Quilt Trail.  The first block on the "trail" is at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center, and since that was also on the quilt day agenda, we started there.

It is housed in a building with some historical significance.  I'm assuming you can read the sign as well as I can retype it.

And here's the main entrance.  I like that they left the school district sign above the door.

The Latimer Quilt and Textile Center is not a large building.  It is kind of the proverbial one room school house with about five rooms.  In one room is an exhibit of spinning wheels and weaving looms.  I found myself wondering if the women who were required to spin their own threads and weave their own cloth loved the task of sewing as much as those of us accustomed to modern conveniences do.  Did they enjoy the  creative aspect?  Did they find it relaxing?  Was it just one more chore for them to perform?  What do you think?

Personally, I like to think they enjoyed it for the same reasons we do.

I was thrilled that they had just opened an exhibit of the Zimbabwe Artists Project (ZAP), which is a non-profit organization created at the request of the artists of Weya in Eastern Zimbabwe.  It so happens that the non-profit is located in Portland, Oregon.  I said a little about the Zimbabwe Artists Project in my previous post, and I learned a little more about the artists from a pamphlet I picked up while visiting the textile center. Here is a quote from the pamphlet:

In Zimbabwe there are 1 million children who have been orphaned by AIDS and over 2 million people who are HIV positive.  HIV/AIDS has had a devastating impact in the lives and families of the artists...We provide special assistance to artists who are HIV positive, making sure they have continuing access to health care providers and essential medications.  We also provide multivitamins and enhance their income from art to assure access to nutritious foods.
After seeing this exhibit and learning more about ZAP, I have to say I am very impressed by the work they do.  Here are some of the artists' creations.  They included applique quilts and painting on fabric and other media.  It was fascinating, and I enjoyed it very much.  Each of these images is followed by a picture of the artist and an explanation of the art.  I'm hoping you'll be able to read the little placards.


Fabric painting

paint on wood

I loved this next one.  It is applique, and the panels tell a story of an African marriage. 

Look at this detail from the quilt above.  I love the hair on the baby's head.

This next one was on a stage, and I couldn't get close enough to get a good image, nor could I get close enough to photograph the information about the artist.  Most of the art work in the exhibit told a story of life in the villages.

See the detail in the bundle of sticks?  This is the panel in the lower left hand corner.

These pieces were all reasonably priced, and I wanted something representative for my own collection.  I chose this painted wooden plate below.

Here is some information about the artist.

Here is a photograph of a photograph of one of the artists at work.

After looking at the exhibit, we went into one of the other rooms where a traditional "Double Wedding Ring" exhibit was on display.  I was absolutely thrilled to find my grandmother's double wedding ring included.

When I donated her quilts to the museum, I thought long and hard about whether I truly wanted to give them up.  Some of her most beautiful quilts had been housed in a cedar chest--either my mother's or mine--for decades.  They were never brought out and never used, and honestly, they were too precious to use.  When I realized I was the last person left alive who knew my grandmother, I decided to donate the best of her quilts to the museum so that they could be seen and appreciated, and also because I wanted to preserve her memory.  

When I made the donation, they told me that anyone could call ahead and ask to see the "Bertha Maust Collection", and that they would be happy to bring them out to show.  My friend Sue did just that on one visit, and she said they were warm in greeting her and gave her a nice show of the quilts.  They also told her that the quilts had only just returned from a national tour.  Knowing that makes me ever more certain that I made the right decision in giving them up.  And seeing this one on display only increased my confidence.

So with that, we continued on to see some of the quilt blocks on the Tillamook County Quilt Trail.  There are 70 quilt blocks in all, and we didn't see them all.  Some of these images were taken as we sped by in the truck, and so they aren't the best.  Seeing the quilt blocks is a little like a treasure hunt, and even Mike got into it.  Some of them are on private barns and private residences, some on government buildings, and some on private businesses.  Where possible, I left the name of the business.  When I couldn't, I'll try to tell you where they were located.  This one below was located on the barn of the Alteher/Gienger farm.  Do you recognize the Card Trick block?

This is the Barker Farm barn and the Oregon Trail quilt block.

This is the Obrist/Bohren Farm and the Lone Star block.

This Western Star is located at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds.

Earl & Virginia Fairbanks private residence and the Black-eyed Susan block.

Parts of the trail were intended for driving, and parts were intended for walking on the streets of the City of Tillamook.  This next one is located on the Tillamook County Transportation District building.  It is called "Middle Star" designed by Marcia Hohn.

This one is on the Tillamook Mini-Storage, the Western Sky block.

I took this one standing some distance away in the post office parking lot.  It is located on the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum.  This is the "Daisy Supreme" block which is an original Tillamook County Quilt Trail design.

The Elks Lodge and The Cabin block, another design by Marcia Hohn.

Coast Printing and Stationery called Shadow Rays, another Marcia Hohn design.  The business wants you to note that this block is in the colors of the Oregon Ducks, but we won't talk about that.  We are Oregon State Beavers fans all the way.

Not sure about this one.  I couldn't find it on the map.

This is the Tillamook Farmers Coop, called Classic Blue, another Marcia Hohn design.  

I included this one from Roby's Furniture & Appliances (Blooming Square by Marcia Hohn) because it also includes the world's best husband sitting there in the truck.  He devoted several hours of vacation to our quilting expedition with nary a whimper or a whine.

I was leaving the quilt shop when I saw that one.  And of course, the quilt shop had its own quilt block, which wasn't actually included on the brochures.

And if you have any notion about Tillamook being anything other than a dairy town, just take note of the Tillamook Cheese Factory...

...and the cow bus.

After all that, we stopped off and picked up some fresh oysters and fresh clams and made ourselves a gourmet seafood dinner that night.  I'll tell you about our "Oysters Rockaway" (Mike's name for it) in a separate post.  Also, I want to tell you about the hiking we did on Tuesday.  And I'll also tell you about the quilt shop in Tillamook, but all of that will have to wait for another day.  I'll just close by saying we enjoyed a beautiful and breezy sunset at day's end.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

StasaLynn said...

Wow! Your first day of vacation was wonderful. The Quilt Blocks are gorgeous.... wouldn't it be awesome to live in a town that has these beautiful colors everywhere you turn. Great pictures!

Judy1522 said...

Thanks for sharing the information about the quilt blocks in Tillamook. We were there last year and I saw some of the blocks and I was pretty excited when I saw them. Not knowing what it was all about I didn't realize there were more of them. The next time I go I am going to check out the quilt trail and also call ahead to see if I can look at your grandmother's quilts. I would love to see them. That is exciting that they have gone on a national tour. Your grandmother's quilt is beautiful.

Lynn - JnL4God said...

Wow - Thanks Barbara, great information and pictures. Being local it's nice to have ideas on more places to check out. Been to Tillamook a few times didn't realize there was a trail. :) Guess what I'm doing next time I'm there? Love the Zimb... Art too. Thx

Quilting Babcia said...

Great photo tour of Tillamook. We've seen some of the quilt block trail but definitely not all. I love the Zimbabwe art and the story quilts. Not to mention your grandmother's quilt. She was a fantastic quilter.

Sher S. said...

Hate to say this but: GO DUCKS!!! I'm a duck from my college years. Love seeing the quilt blocks on the buildings. I've done some of that in Ohio, my cousin took my Mom and I around the Amish area in Ohio and we saw lots of quilt blocks on barns. It's amazing to see. I've even seen some in northern Michigan.
Love your travel blogs added here, I feel like I was with you on the trip. Thanks for sharing.

Diane Wild said...

Awww...great tour and post. Thank you.

Kate said...

Wow, that's quilt a quilt trail!

The quilting on your Grandmother's Double Wedding ring quilt is gorgeous! What a great way to keep your grandmother's memory alive.

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for showing the artwork from the Zimbabwe women - it is so nice to know that their art is helping them support their families. Lots of amazing detail work in all of them. Enjoy your beautiful tray!!
And how wonderful to see one of your Grandmother's quilts hanging on display! And to think that her quilts were on a national tour - just, WOW!!!
And thanks for the great Barn Quilt Tour too - terrific. Kudos to the Husband of the Year too!

Brown Family said...

That looks like a fun tour. We did not have time to stop and has too many kids and pets on our last trip through there!